Re: How important is rod/reel balance?
I feel though balance is crucial, I bought a TFO Lefty Kreh finesse series 2 wt and the grays gs reel was a bit too heavy, making it back heavy and I think out of balance. The balance point of the rod was right before the reel seat and the rod just didnt have the feel. I bought a battenkill from Orvis, and that pushed the balance point of the rod back up onto the cork handle about 3 inches, it casts better and I don't have to fight the offset.
Opinion: balance is conceptualized as "To each is own." I personally like things working together and not one force overpowering another.